Picture of green piggy bank representing affordable hearing aids and a good deal.

We all enjoy a good bargain. But you should be careful and watch out for little details in regards to your health.

The terms “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” may seem similar but they are actually very different devices. And making the wrong selection could have significant ramifications for your hearing and your general health.

What is a hearing amplifier?

A hearing amplifier is a small device that, when placed in your ear, increases the volume of the sounds around you. These are generally quite simple, one-dimensional devices which the government classifies as personal sound amplification devices. The volume of the world is basically cranked up.

Because of their one-size-fits-all strategy, hearing amplifiers aren’t appropriate for individuals who have moderate to significant hearing loss.

Hearing amplifier aren’t hearing aids

It begins to become fairly apparent that hearing aids are not the same as hearing amplification devices when you consider that amplifiers are not recommended for people with even moderate hearing loss. Hearing aids, obviously, are encouraged for people with hearing loss.

Both kinds of devices are capable of raising the volume of external sound. The primary difference between the two devices is how cutting edge that amplification is.

  • Whatever environment you find yourself, your hearing aids can calibrate to it. The acoustics of any given place will change depending on a long list of variables. Some hearing aids can adjust to these changes automatically. A dedicated device or smartphone can tune hearing aids that don’t do it automatically. By making minute adjustments to the settings of your hearing aid, you’re capable of hearing better in a wider variety of environments, meaning there will be fewer locations you wish to avoid.
  • Selecting and amplifying speech is one of the primary functions of a hearing aid. To some extent, that’s the result of the uneven way hearing loss develops, but it’s also because communication is such an important function of your hearing. As a result, hearing aid makers have invested monumental resources into enhancing the clarity of speech above all else. There are state-of-the-art algorithms and processes working inside of hearing aids to make sure that, even in a crowded and noisy place, voices come through loud and clear.
  • With hearing aids, only specific frequencies of sound are amplified. Because hearing loss normally progresses wavelength by wavelength. Frequencies at the higher and lower end of the scale are usually the first to go. Instead of making everything louder, hearing aids work to plug holes in what you’re hearing. For people who have hearing loss, this selective approach is more effective.

Bottom line, these capabilities are crucial components of correctly treating hearing loss. And these are attributes that are not present in most personal hearing amplifiers.

The best deal for your ears

Along with a decreased ability to hear, neglected hearing loss can also lead to mental decline. Because amplifiers don’t distinguish between frequencies, if you raise the volume enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll likely have it up too loud for other wavelengths….and do additional damage. And who needs to do that?

Unless your hearing loss is being caused by earwax, hearing aids and certain surgeries are the only approved treatments for hearing loss at this time. Ignoring hearing loss and bypassing treatment doesn’t save you money ultimately. Untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your general healthcare costs over 40%. Fortunately, there are affordable options. We can help.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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